I'm in a coffee mood.
Recommendation engines are used by companies like Netflix to deliver fantastic personalized experiences. Google creates profiles of us to understand what makes us tick and sell us the right products. 23andme analyzes our DNA for genetic risk factors and sells the data to pharmaceutical companies. Ecommerce sites like Amazon know how to appeal to you as an individual, and whether you’re more persuaded by social proof when your friends also buy a product, or authority when an expert recommends a product. Facebook can predict the likelihood that you drink alcohol or do drugs, or determine if you’re physically and mentally healthy. It also experiments on us and influences our emotions. What can be done with all this data varies wildly, from the incredibly convenient and useful to the downright terrifying.
The intent of the developers, their bosses, and the corporations as a whole, is key. They didn’t just decide to utilize this data because they could. They can’t afford to provide free services for nothing, and that was never their intention. It’s a lucrative business. The business model of these companies is to exploit our data, to be our corporate surveillers.
We need to be aware that our choice of communication tools, such as Gmail or Facebook, doesn’t just affect us, but also those who want to communicate with us.
We need to take control of our data, and begin an exodus from the services and tools that don’t respect our human rights. We need to demand, find and fund alternatives where we can be together without being an algorithm’s cash crop.
A great read.
It's been a few weeks since I first tried making ginger beer, and it's going great! I still have only tried one recipe, but I've found a new one that I'll do the next batch with. The key difference of this new recipe is that instead of bottling the fully-live yeasty fluid, the yeast culture is somewhat deadened to prevent it from getting too yeasty-tasting, which has got to be my only complaint of the current recipe.
I've actually found three different ones to try, and I'm going to try them all and pick a favourite to bring along on camping trips in August.
The one other change I will do for the next batch is to use one-litre plastic bottles instead of a single two-litre bottle. This will make it easier to finish a bottle before it goes flat.
The network has two primary objectives:
- A business directory of Christian businesses and organizations of any kind, including churches and other non-profits. At this point, we're marketing it towards Canadian and American outfits, but their's mo reason why ones in other nations couldn't join.
- A business resources section, featuring blog posts from members and other people of influence in the Christian business circle. We're hoping to have both generic articles about business practice, and also specific prices aimed at cirtain types of business or goals that owner/operators might have.
Its been a fun project to work on. And now that the ship is sailing, it's fun to see where the current will take us!